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One of the biggest lies ever told...

Pinocchiois that "I am the only one." as in: "I am the only one who has ever gone through this." or "I am the only one who has ever felt this way." No matter what words follow "I am the only one", the subtext is the same: "There is something wrong with me." This pattern of thought isolates us. Causes us to withdraw from one another for fear of being exposed.

Lately, I've come across various articles, and listened to podcasts and interviews involving actors in various stages and levels of their respective careers. What I have heard is a variety of thoughts and feelings that mirror my own. Last year was a record year for my acting career, and at the beginning of this year (when auditions were especially slow) I was asking myself "what if?" Y'all know the drill (all together now) "What I never get another gig?" "What if last year was a fluke?" "What if they* discover I'm really just winging it all?" In my head I knew that trying to find answers to these questions was a fool's errand, but in my gut, I really wondered. In my efforts to shake these thoughts, I started painting more, reading more, writing, listening to music, planning travel...indulging my other interests. My rationale was that living a more well-rounded life would actually serve my acting, and if I never acted again, at least I'd have a well-rounded life.

Many of the other actors (some big names, some not) in the interviews and articles were saying the same things: "What if I never get another job?" "What if they* find out I'm a fraud?" And then there were several who had reached the same conclusion that I have: That it's important to have other interests, other options, and people in your life that help you keep it all in perspective. I was relieved to realized that I am not the only one who had these thoughts, and that asking these questions doesn't mean I'm faithless, it means I'm human. And I'm really glad to know I'm not the only one.

I'm headed to Portland to shoot my commercial spot. I'm particularly proud of myself because I'm NOT taking my computer with me. Okay, I'll still have my Treo, but this is a big step! I will be sure to post pix when I return.


--Nicole J. Butler

*Who are "they" anyway??

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A Pinyan

I know what you mean - I saw an article in the NY Times lately about feelings of phoniness, and I thought of all the big actors that I've heard say - "Everytime I get on set I expect someone to realize I don't belong there."

And I do it myself - including the last job offer I got, where I think I listed 7 superficial reasons why they had cast me - BEFORE thinking, "Hey, maybe it's because I gave a great read and they think I'm talented."

But yeah, pretty much all we can do is work to create as much of the life we want as we can - dealing with the things that are in our control - things that bring us joy.

Stacey Jackson

Have a great shoot!

Sis Ivd

We all know that there is nothing new under the sun, so whatever it is that each one of us goes through, is not unique. Somebody else has already been there, done that.

Those 'what if' moments we have help keep us on our toes. We eventually get through those 'what if' moments and most of realize that it wasn't so bad after all and that we have actually grown from the experience and are able to help somebody else.

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